Best Excuses to Quit Your Job Without Notice


best excuses to quit your job without notice

If you’re in a job that you makes you miserable, you may be tempted to want to leave without providing the standard two-weeks notice.

But is is a good idea to quit your job without notice? What are the best reasons for doing so and what are the best practices for quitting without notice?

This article unpacks all of that questions, and more.

Let’s dive in. 

When Is It Ok To Quit Your Job Without Notice?

compulsive job quitting

Quitting yоur jоb withоut nоtice is gеnеrаlly nоt recommended, аs it cаn burn bridgеs аnd potentiаlly hаrm yоur prоfessiоnаl reputаtiоn. Вut thеrе аre certаin situаtiоns where it mаy be necessаry, suсh аs cаses оf persоnаl sаfеty, hаrаssment, оr illеgаl аctivitiеs within thе wоrkplаce. In thеse extreme circumstаnces, priоritizing yоur well-being аnd sаfеty is most impоrtаnt.

Shri Ganeshram CEO and Founder of, provided the content for this section.

Best Practices for Quitting Your Job Without Notice

1. Be Professional

professional experience

Even if you are leaving your job abruptly, it is important to remain professional and respectful throughout the process. Avoid burning bridges by being polite and courteous to your employer and colleagues.

2. Explain Your Situation

If possible, explain the reason why you are quitting without notice. Be honest but tactful in your communication, and avoid pointing fingers or placing blame.

3. Offer To Help With The Transition

how to ask someone to be a reference

Although you are quitting without notice, you can still offer to help your employer with the transition. This could include training your replacement, documenting your work processes, or providing a list of ongoing projects and their status.

4. Fulfill Your Obligations

If you have any outstanding projects or tasks, make sure to complete them before you leave. This will help to minimize the impact of your departure and ensure that your colleagues are not left with additional work to do.

5. Maintain Confidentiality


If you are leaving due to a sensitive issue, such as harassment or illegal activities, it is important to maintain confidentiality and not disclose any sensitive information about your employer or colleagues.

While quitting a job without notice should generally be avoided, there may be situations where it is necessary. By following these best practices, you can help to minimize the impact of your departure and maintain a professional relationship with your employer and colleagues.

Matthew Warzel, CPRW, President, MJW Careers, LLC provided the content for this section.

Outside of Matthew’s recommendations, as a general statement, it’s best to follow as many of the best practices for resigning professionally as you can, even when quitting without notice.

What Are The Best Excuses to Quit Your Job Without Notice?

quit with nothing else lined up

Because quitting your job without notice goes against the common etiquette of providing two weeks notice when you resign, it can be tempting to want to make up an excuse that feels like a really valid reason for why you’re leaving. 

Regardless of if the reason that you’re leaving feels valid to you or not, I would urge you be honest about why you’re quitting without providing notice and not make something up to make the reason sound more valid than you think it is.

With that said, included below are the best reasons to quit your job without notice.

Anjela Mangrum, President, Mangrum Career Solutions, provided the first three reasons in the list below.

1. Ongoing Layoffs

If your workplace has been laying off workers and is already in a financial crisis, quitting without prior notice might not be that bad. Your employer would save the amount they would otherwise have to pay you while knowing you’re leaving soon.

Another circumstance that often develops at companies laying off workers is deciding which employees to keep and who to fire. If you know you’re not a definite ‘keeper’ on your boss’s list, you should be able to get away with quitting without prior notice.

2. Family Emergency


Sometimes, life gets in the way of your plans. Emergencies happen, and any employer won’t mind you quitting without notice because your family needs you immediately.

One of my employees had to quit out of the blue because his mother, who lived in another state, suffered a sudden accident, needing him to care for her long-term.

3. Deteriorating Mental Health

Many professionals have confessed to me about how the toxic culture or toxic bosses at their prior workplace was the reason they finally left, and some had to quit without notice because the abuse/bullying they faced was too much to stay another ten days. If you find mental health seriously worsening with every passing day, either because of your job or your personal life, know that it’s entirely okay to quit without notice.

4. The Company Doing Something Illegal or Unethical

fake reference illegal

If you discover that the company is participating in something illegal, unethical, or that just goes against your values, it would be reasonable and understandable for you to quit without notice. 

It’s important to live life by a set of moral and ethical standards and if the company that you work for does something that violates those standards, then sometimes it’s best just to walk away so you can feel good about your personal character and what you’re doing to make a living.

5. Physical Health

Quitting a job without notice to deal with physical health issues is another very valid reason to leave a job. 

Your health is the foundation of your life, and if you’re diagnosed with a disease or have some type of physical health issue that you need to focus your attention on, then it can be important to walk away to do all that you can to deal with it.

Is It Rude to Quit a Job Without Notice?

thinking person

In most cases, quitting without notice is generally considered rude and unprofessional. It leaves your employer in a lurch, as they may have to scramble to find someone to take over your responsibilities. But if you’re in a situation where staying at the job would be worse than leaving without notice, you may have to make that difficult decision.

Darren Shafae, Founder, ResumeBlaze provided the content for this section.

Is It Illegal to Quit a Job Without Notice?

Quitting a job without notice is not illegal in most cases. The United States predominantly follows the employment-at-will doctrine, which allows both employers and employees to terminate the employment relationship at any time, without reason or notice, as long as there is no contract or agreement stating otherwise.

However, there are some exceptions to this general rule:

1. Employment Contracts

request the offer in writing

If an employee has an employment contract that explicitly requires them to provide notice before quitting, they may be legally obligated to do so. Failure to provide notice as stipulated in the contract could lead to potential legal ramifications, such as being sued for breach of contract.

2. Collective Bargaining Agreements

Employees who are members of a union may be subject to a collective bargaining agreement that dictates the terms of their employment, including the requirement to provide notice before quitting.

3. Implied Contracts

employee working

In some cases, courts have recognized implied contracts based on an employer’s statements or actions. If an employee can prove that there was an implied contract requiring them to provide notice before quitting, they may be legally obligated to do so.

It is crucial to understand that the legality of quitting without notice can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the employment relationship. While it is generally not illegal, employees should consider the potential consequences, such as damaging their professional reputation or becoming ineligible for rehire at the company.

Min Hwan Ahn, Esq, Attorney and Founder of Ez485 provided the content for this section.  

Should I Feel Guilty About Quitting My Job Without Notice?

thinking person

It depends on the circumstances. If you are leaving due to a serious and immediate threat to your health or safety, or if you are facing harassment or discrimination, you should not feel guilty. However, if you are leaving simply because you are unhappy with your job or have found a better opportunity, it is best to give notice and leave on good terms.

Sean McPheat, CEO at MTD Training provided the content for this section.


In general, quitting your job without notice should be avoided. While it’s not illegal, it is typically considered to be rude and can burn bridges, which is something that you want to avoid in your career.

That said, there are situations where quitting without notice is unavoidable. So, if you find yourself in that situation, do so without guilt.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

Recent Posts